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Working through our Coming of God series for Advent, I’ve been reading a number of books on the incarnation. Two books, in particular, have been scintillating, along with an essay by Princeton theologian Robert Jensen.
This short, accessible book has a lovely cover design and thought provoking reflections on incarnation. I found chapter two, on the role of the Spirit in the life of Christ, especially enjoyable. While some points are debatable, it is a helpful read.
God Who Became Human: a Biblical Theology of Incarnation (Cole Graham)
This is the 30th installment in a fantastic series of books–New Studies in Biblical Theology–edited by D.A. Carson. The scholarship in this series is always top notch and clear. Cole’s prior contribution, God the Peacemaker, was also a delight to read. These books let the Bible sing by tracing its major themes through inter-textual connections within the larger narrative of Scripture. They also frequently provide helpful theological and practical reflection.
Nicene Christianity: The Future for a New Ecumenism (ed. Christoper Seitz)
The is a great collection of essays that reflect on the Nicene Creed. Robert Jensen is in top form reflecting theologically and creatively upon the phrase “for us…he was made man.” Some superb insights and stirring reflection on the nature of Christ’s humanity and the present state of heaven.
Sometimes doubt is generated not by a deliberate philosophical and systemic moral choice but by ten thousand atomistic choices. A man may begin his adult life with full, Christian convictions, worked out in faithful godliness, disciplined prayer and Bible reading, and thoughtful witness. Somewhere along the line, the Bible reading dries up; prayer becomes spotty; the pressures or rising obligations at work reduce church attendance to a bare minimum. A charming colleague or assistant at work seems far better able to empathize with his challenges than does his wife. Several years on, he wakes up one morning after spending the night with someone with whom he should not have been sleeping. He heads off to the washroom, looks at himself in the mirror, and mutters, “I don’t believe all that religious rubbish anyway!”
But what has brought him to this point? It has not been a deeply thought-out philosophical problem, still less new scientific evidence. It has not even been a principled decision. Rather, it has been ten thousand little decisions, all of them wrong. The result is the same: this man now doubts the fundamentals of the faith.
D. A. Carson, Scandalous